Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 02/12/2023

It takes a village to raise a child. Parents, teachers, friends, and the village drunk all work together to bring children up right. To this point, we have this post about parenting from a concerned villager on the rants page. 

“Sitting outside at colvos. The disembodied voice of a child has been screaming in tantrum down the road for a solid twenty minutes maybe by the pharmacy. Wtf bro take ur kid home for bedtime its 7:18 and that kid need a nap pls go home bro whats stopping you?”

Most of us say good on the parents for taking the kid outside so they’re not throwing a tantrum in the theater or the restaurant or wherever. Sometimes kids just scream for 20 minutes, and you need to let them ride the wave of adrenaline and cortisol until they tucker themselves out, and no amount of cajoling or soothing will help. And god help you if you try to pick them up and take them to the car. They suddenly make themselves 1000 pounds of flailing, jabbing elbows and knees.

We have the traditional discussion of whether a rant is valid, or if it’s a sign of utter moral failure on the part of the poster. 

Photo 58229060 / Crazy © Anna Griessel |

One islander says, “Thats not a rant, its a self-proclaimed drunk annoyed by a sound!”

I think it’s totally fair to log on to FB drunk and rant about noises you don’t like. That’s what the page is for. If you want to be sober and sell your self-harvested, taxidermied pronghorn deer head, there’s a different page for that. 

When confronted about not checking to see if everyone was ok, the poster responds:

“It was unsettling how long it went on idk the trials and tribulations of being a parent.” He adds, “My concern was at nightime on the strip i heard a crying outside unattended voice of a child. Is my rant valid enough?”

An islander’s response, “No. It’s Vashon at 7pm not the Vegas strip dude. You weren’t concerned you were annoyed”

Let’s diagnose the person’s true emotions. Does this post stem from some unrecognized pathology? Does the poster not know their true self and only internet strangers can read them and tell them what their thoughts and feelings are? 

This leads to a long thread arguing about who is and who is not being empathetic, and what empathy looks like. If I’ve learned anything from my two years writing this column. It’s that empathy looks like yelling at someone in the comments section of a Facebook page because they had the ‘wrong’ emotional reaction to a situation.

In response to a commenter calling him out, the OP says, “were u the parent in question? Sounds personal. Mines an outside detached observation.”

The commenter then says, “uh no. I’m just empathetic”

The poster counters “the fact i bothered to post about my concern is the embodiment of empathy. If i hear a child crying for 20-25 minutes without resolve is and should be comcerning to anyone that hasnt been debreifed’

I like the idea of debriefing everyone in the area if your child is having a meltdown. Like, have a powerpoint presentation you can bring with you. 

Slide One: My child didn’t sleep well last night because the cat made a weird noise and then she assumed it was a monster who lives in the closet. 

Slide two: We ran out of her favorite cereal as well as her backup cereal, so she had to eat her third favorite cereal for breakfast. She ate just enough to satiate her for the 20 minutes before we left the house. 

Slide three: she must have grown overnight, because this morning her shoes didn’t fit and her feet hurt when she wore them. 

Slide four: due to the too tight shoes, she tripped and scraped her knee. 

Slide five: Clearly, these are all signs that the universe is at best uncaring and at worst actively malicious, and this realization is a little too much for such a tiny nervous system to handle, so she blew a fuse. 

Anyway, we haven’t hammered the nail in the coffin enough. The response to being asked for a debriefing is, “Lol. Ok you were annoyed. Don’t try to switch it to concern to save face. If you were really concerned you’d go check out the situation. Not post in a rant group”

However, OP has a different idea about the cause of the crying. “fucking party moms gotta chill”  

Photo 196330150 / Child Crying © Valeriia Titarenko |

I like the assumption that, since the pharmacy was closed, the only reasonable thing a parent could be doing out with a child at 7 is going to the bar. 

However, people are not amused. One person breaks it down along these categorical lines: 

“There’s innocuous ranting mimicking indirect judging dressed as personal concern impersonating being a dick.

Any way you slice it, it’s not cute.”

Op defends himself again. “we in the rant page i came to rant. rants are supposed to be a little egregious right? I thought this was a local digital stand up comedy open mic page.”

Yes, it is. *taps mic* “What’s the deal with airline food? Used to be they gave it to you for free, on a little tray, warm with some foil on top that you peeled off. Now you gotta preorder four grapes and a cracker six days in advance, and it costs you $18! Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week folks.”

Here is one islander’s novel and perhaps psychopathic way of handling children crying in public: 

“When that happens, I have to shout out loud “Stop pinching that baby!!” Like every time it happens, anywhere it happens… I can’t even help it! I know not everyone has my sense of humor 😅🙏

We once again rant about people driving too slow. It’s been a while you guys. I can’t say I’ve missed it.

The island has some steady, stalwart residents who, as one islander puts it,  ‘drive the same speed no matter the speed limit. Why change? 😵‍💫

To which we have this response, “35 in the Thriftway parking lot.”

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

2 thoughts on “Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 02/12/2023”

  1. Suzanne Anderson

    Before we bought a house here 20+ years ago, we read the crime blotter in The Beachcomber, and one heinous act was an ENTIRE TRAY of cookies had been taken from a window where they were left to cool. That did it for us, we made an offer. This article is sort of like that.

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